A medical power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person the authority to make decisions regarding the health care of another. By naming an agent, to be responsible as a medical power of attorney, and making certain medical directives, you get to decide what type of health care treatments you undergo in case you are unable to express these wishes yourself.
Unlike a general power of attorney, this person does not handle your business or legal affairs. A medical power of attorney is limited to decision concerning medical and other health care needs. This power is limited to health-related decisions in order to make sure all necessary care is provided according to the patient’s requests.
Appointing an agent for a medical power of attorney can relieve your family of these important decisions in case you are incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes, making estate planning essential for the protection of your family and well-being.
Powers of the Agent
Although you can convey your wishes to the agent you choose for a medical power of attorney, they are not forced by law to follow them. Granting someone the medical power of attorney means that they are allowed to make decisions on your behalf regarding your health care.
For example, the agent can decide whether or not the person they are representing receives a blood transfusion, CPR, resuscitation, and also the length of time a treatment is continued when there are no signs of improvement.
Who Can Be Your Agent for a Medical POA
Competent adults can be selected for a medical power of attorney. Close friends or relatives are usually chosen. Some states do not allow for the medical power of attorney to be granted to the patient’s own health care providers, physicians, or employees of health care providers, unless they are relatives to the patient.
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